At Guantanamo, 3 More

Inmates Attempt Suicide

The Pentagon said three more inmates at the detention facility for suspected al Qaeda members and others at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have attempted suicide, bringing the number to 10 this year and drawing fresh criticism from human rights groups.

Nineteen inmates have tried to kill themselves, most by hanging, since the detentions at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay began in January 2002, said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Barbara Burfeind, a Pentagon spokeswoman. None has died.

There were 10 in 2002, and nine since Jan. 16, including three since last Friday, Burfeind said. Their names and nationalities have not been released. About 650 inmates are jailed at the maximum-security facility, she said.

Powell Defends Work Style, Eschews 'Living' in a Plane

Secretary of State Colin Powell said "living in an airplane" is not the only way to be in touch with other governments.

"I think I am on the road a bit," Powell said at a news conference in response to suggestions U.S. diplomacy would be more effective if he went abroad more.

"Just for the record," Powell said, "I took 16 trips last year, to 41 countries, and I also receive a large number of visitors here."

Ultimately, Powell said, he had to judge where his time should be spent. "I'm principal foreign policy adviser to the president, and so I have to spend a goodly part of my time with the president," he said.

For the Record

* Federal energy regulators approved rules to keep secret certain information about U.S. power plants, large transmission lines and oil and natural gas pipelines, citing post-Sept. 11 security concerns. In keeping the information away from extremist groups, the rules would also restrict the general public's access. The information to be kept secret includes pipeline maps and electric grid flow diagrams that could reveal congested areas when moving energy supplies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said.

* Unlicensed and drunken drivers continue to get behind the wheel and have accidents despite tougher laws designed to keep them off the road. Habitual drunken drivers make 40 percent of all drunken driving trips, the Washington-based AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said. After a nationwide telephone survey of drivers, the foundation said there was only a 1 in 50 chance that a drunken driver would actually be arrested.

* President Bush signed a $397.4 billion government-wide spending bill that contains billions more dollars than he had sought for the budget year that began Oct. 1. Bush complained that Congress was spending too much in areas such as drought relief for farmers and not enough on his priorities. The bill pays for every agency except the Pentagon for the 2003 budget year that ends this Sept. 30.

-- From News Services